China's first home-made jet engine will make a debut in 2016, a significant step of the large-jet program, an official said Wednesday.
"China is expected to complete the research of its first jumbo jet engine in 2016 and begin to apply for aviation certificate from the state aviation authority," said Zhang Jian, general manager of the Shanghai-based AVIC Commercial Aircraft Engine Co. Ltd.
"We hope the home-made engine will fly together with the home-made large aircraft," he said.
The engine company was established in Shanghai in January. The company will focus on the research and development of home-made jet engines.
The government-owned Aviation Industry Corp. of China (AVIC) holds a 40 percent stake in the company, which has registered capital of 6 billion yuan (877 million U.S. dollars).
The firm is another step in the development of the commercial aviation industry after the establishment of the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China Ltd. in May last year. The plan is to put aircraft with at least 150 seats into the market by 2020.
"It would take about 20 years to develop an engine to propel China's first homemade large plane," said Liu Daxiang, an expert with the AVIC, the country's leading aircraft maker.
According to Chinese analysts, developing aircraft engines will break the monopoly of foreign suppliers such as GE, Rolls-Royce and the Pratt & Whitney Group. An engine industry will also stimulate the growth of other domestic sectors such as electronics, digitally-controlled machines and composite materials.
China only makes military aircraft engines now.